KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Bode Miller got a slap on the back from Austrian great Franz Klammer after narrowly escaping a crash on the famed Streif course.
Miller didn't get his first victory at the classic World Cup downhill on Saturday, but he got style points for a save at 80 mph. The 34-year-old Miller caught an icy bump at the Hausbergkante, one of the most challenging parts of the course. It hit one of his skis so badly that it almost came off.
Miller quickly reacted and found his balance, but lost speed. He finished 29th, 1.35 seconds behind Didier Cuche of Switzerland, who won a record fifth time on the course.
"Going across the Hausberg and your ski goes like that," Miller told The Associated Press, "it feels a lot worse than it looked" on the TV screen for a crowd of about 25,000.
"Those are life-savers," he said. "One hundred points is great, but I always try to be at the finish with all my parts intact. That was obviously, in some ways, better than a win, so I am happy."
Miller quickly reacted and found his balance, but lost speed. He finished 29th, 1.35 seconds behind Cuche, who won a record fifth time on the course. Cuche overtook Klammer, who won the Hahnenkamm downhill four times in the 1970s and 80s.
The Austrian great congratulated Cuche and met Miller after he safely made it through the finish.
"People like to see this as much as they want to see a victory," Klammer told the American.
Miller said it was a close call.
"My ski almost came all the way off," he said. "You can feel it when it comes out of your binding like that. It almost came off all the way, then kicked back in."
WOMEN'S DOWNHILL: At Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Tessa Worley of France won a World Cup giant slalom on Saturday after first-run leader Elisabeth Goergl of Austria crashed at the bottom of the second run. World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn finished fourth, just missing the podium by three-hundredths of a second despite a spectacular recovery to prevent a crash near the end of the race.
BOBSLED: At St. Moritz, Switzerland, Maximilian Arndt of Germany got his first victory in a two-man bobsled World Cup on Saturday to close the gap on overall leader Beat Hefti of Switzerland. American pilot Steven Holcomb and brakeman Steven Langton were fourth. The U.S. team moved three places to third in the overall standings.